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McDonalds Southern Style Chicken


WiscoNole
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Having never had Chik-Fil-A before, I have no basis for comparison, but I really like these sandwiches.

Woooorlds apart.

Well, since the closest Chik-Fil-A is 25 miles away, across a toll bridge, it's pretty unlikely that I will ever know the difference. I'm not inclined to drive 25 miles, across said toll bridge, to go to a fast food joint that my kids can't eat at.

Kind of like I'll settle for Fatburger when I can't justify the 15 mile drive (no toll bridge involved there) to get to In-N-Out.

Cheryl

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On the plus side, my Amazon order today arrived with 2 coupons - one for the breakfast biscuit and one for the southern style chicken sandwich.

On the minus side, I finally tried the breakfast biscuit last weekend. Call me a hater, but it was awful. Both the biscuit and the chicken were so dry that it was almost impossible to eat. I was hoping for some pickle flavor but didn't taste any.

Since I have the free coupon, I'll try the sandwich. But, wow, gotta say, now I know why it's been 15+ years since I've eaten at McDonald's.

Edited by kbjesq (log)
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I heard the first commercial for this in Canada today, so I guess we must have them now. I suppose I'll have to go check it out.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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eGullet is making me fat. Naturally, given the nature of the discussion I was forced, forced I tell you, to eat two chicken sandwiches for lunch today: one from Chick-Fil-A and one from McDonalds. This was not quite a head-to-head competition since they are a five-minute walk from one another so I ate the CFA first, then went to McD and had theirs so as not to handicap CFA due to freshness. Here are my reactions (note that this was my first CFA):

Appearance - Virtually identical, with the CFA chicken patty being slightly larger in diameter, but also slightly thinner and less uniform. The breading on the CFA is slightly darker than the McDonalds. McDonalds' packaging is better as it prevents the sandwich from being crushed, lets some moisture escape so the chicken doesn't steam, and it's recyclable besides.

Bun - Also virtually identical, each having a soft steamed quality to it, but due to the packaging, the CFA was a bit soggy near the chicken itself. Could be a sandwich freshness issue (the CFA was premade, the McD was assembled to order).

Pickles - Both sandwiches had two slices of pickle. The McDonalds pickle seemed to be crisper, but this could be due to the sandwich being fresher .

Breading - The darker Chick-Fil-A breading had more (and better) flavor than the McDonalds breading, but the McDonald's breading was crisper. The CFA had some unpleasantly chewy end pieces of breading, whereas the McDonalds had a uniform texture throughout.

Chicken - McDonalds' chicken was much moister and more flavorful than the CFA: no contest here. In fact, one might argue that the McD's was unnaturally juicy. This results in a fairly soggy bun once the eating begins, but since the juices are flavorful, with a slight brininess to them that the CFA lacks, I found the McD chicken superior. Of course, if you don't like that brininess, you won't like the sandwich. Where the CFA had pickles on it, the McD seems to have pickle-ness infused into it.

I don't know how critical a factor the age of the sandwich was here. As I mentioned, the CFA was premade and prepackaged, so I don't know how old it was, but I was there in the middle of the lunch rush, so my feeling is that turnover was pretty quick. The McD was assembled to order, minimizing bun- and package-time. So, the verdict: as a CFA newbie, unless you can get them super-fresh and that makes a big difference (debatable), I gotta say, I'd pick the McDonald's Southern Style Chicken every time.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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...I'd pick the McDonald's Southern Style Chicken every time.

Blasphemy! I too have done a side by side test when McD introduced their total ripoff around here and the CFA beat it like a red-headed stepchild.

Gear nerd and hash slinger

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...I'd pick the McDonald's Southern Style Chicken every time.

Blasphemy! I too have done a side by side test when McD introduced their total ripoff around here and the CFA beat it like a red-headed stepchild.

:biggrin: I would use the phrase "inspired by CFA" instead of "rip-off of CFA" but the sandwiches are darn near identical. Except the SSC tastes better... :raz::laugh:

I'm curious about why you liked the CFA better: I wonder if for me it was just over-sold. So many people seem to be raving about it, especially since the McD SSC came out, that perhaps my expectations were just too high. But there is no doubt that the SSC was juicier and it had more flavor. After all, it's not like a chicken breast has much taste: you have to add something to it, and McDs is adding more than CFA. I really wanted to like the CFA better, I swear I did, and it is still a good sandwich (as far as fast food chicken is concerned, anyway :hmmm: ).

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I think there's likely to be store-to-store and batch variation, however my own experience indicates that the McDonald's product is competitive.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I've had the biscuit twice as I said, one good and one not so good. I was delighted with the good one. We don't have CFA out this way, but I grew up eating their chicken sandwiches. That good biscuit was on par.

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I heard the first commercial for this in Canada today, so I guess we must have them now.  I suppose I'll have to go check it out.

Yay, I wonder if we'll get it in my dinky town. I can't imagine the chicken breast being as big in size here as it is in MI.

I tried the biscuit this morning in MI( on my way back from the airport). It was good, and the biscuit wasnt dry. I detected no pickle flavor though.

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I heard the first commercial for this in Canada today, so I guess we must have them now.  I suppose I'll have to go check it out.

Yay, I wonder if we'll get it in my dinky town. I can't imagine the chicken breast being as big in size here as it is in MI.

I tried the biscuit this morning in MI( on my way back from the airport). It was good, and the biscuit wasnt dry. I detected no pickle flavor though.

McDonalds' Canada at least has it on their website now, here, so I imagine it will be rolled out to all Canadian Mc'D' s pretty soon.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I heard the first commercial for this in Canada today, so I guess we must have them now.  I suppose I'll have to go check it out.

Yay, I wonder if we'll get it in my dinky town. I can't imagine the chicken breast being as big in size here as it is in MI.

I tried the biscuit this morning in MI( on my way back from the airport). It was good, and the biscuit wasnt dry. I detected no pickle flavor though.

McDonalds' Canada at least has it on their website now, here, so I imagine it will be rolled out to all Canadian Mc'D' s pretty soon.

Thats the Southwestern Chicken Sandwich, not the Southern Style Chicken Sandwich. I guess thats the substitute for Canada. The Southwestern sandwich is not availble in the US( at least I havent seen it in Florida or Michigan)

Sigh!!

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....Of course, if you don't like that brininess, you won't like the sandwich. Where the CFA had pickles on it, the McD seems to have pickle-ness infused into it.

Chris,

As dockhl said, thanks for taking two for them team.

Regarding the "pickle-ness" infusion, would you think this flavor is in the brining? Or introduced in another manner?

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Chris,

As dockhl said, thanks for taking two for them team.

Regarding the "pickle-ness" infusion, would you think this flavor is in the brining? Or introduced in another manner?

I believe it is in the brining, in that it does not seem localized to the breading. In the CFA, all the flavor is the breading, the rest is just typical white meat chicken. McDs has done something to that chicken, which I assume is a brine, or injection, or something, and there is some kind of vinegar flavor in there. "Pickle" may be too strong, since it doesn't necessarily have that spice combination, but it seems to me that there is a distinct, if subtle, vinegar flavor.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I don't know if this explains the brining mystery, but it might answer some of the questions concerning the flavor of the chicken.

List of ingredients for the Southern style chicken (just the meat):

Southern Style Crispy Chicken Breast Filet

Chicken breast filets, water, sugar, salt, modified tapioca starch, spice, yeast extract, sodium phosphates, carrageenan, maltodextrin, natural (plant source) and artificial flavors, gum arabic, sunflower lecithin. Battered and breaded with: wheat flour, water, sugar, salt, food starch-modified, yellow corn flour, leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, monocalcium phosphate), wheat gluten, spice, gum arabic, natural flavors (plant source), extractives of paprika. Prepared in vegetable oil ((may contain one of the following: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness), dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent). CONTAINS: WHEAT

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

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I bought this sandwich the other day with some sweet tea and enjoyed it...a little too much. Am I a bad person?

Hell No!! I really like it. I turned my sister on to it too and she likes it as well. I'd venture to say its the best chicken sandwich that Mcdonald's makes.

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Here's a new use for the SSCB. I bought 2 today in MI( no bun, no pickle) for the reduced rate of 3.71 for both. I made my version of a fried chicken salad w/ homeade honey mustard dressing.

Romaine, corn, Dubliner cheddar, cuckes, scallions, hard cooked eggs, carrots and glazed pecans. I diced up the breast on top. It was pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

gallery_25969_665_125730.jpg

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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The lemming that I am, I finally had to break down and try one of these sandwiches. (Actually, it was more that I saw this thread before lunch).

Verdict: Pretty good. It was a lot juicier than I thought it would be and the outer coating was nice and crispy. I thought it might need more than just pickles as a condiment, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it worked well with just the pickles.

Gosh, now I have a reason to stop at a McDonald's.

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Yeah, I sincerely wish I could get a chicken biscuit breakfast outside of McD's around here, but I can't, so this one does the trick.  I'm envious of you Southern folks.

It's worth moving for. I'd invite you to move to Atlanta, but only if you promise not to help make the traffic any worse. :hmmm:

If you want a really good Chicken biscuit in Atlanta, try "Martin's" Chicken biscuit.

It's my understanding that the founder of Martin's was a partner with S. Truett Cathy the found of CFA, but split off in the early 60's prior to the opening of the first CFA. Martin's, although not nearly as succesfull is also open on Sundays.

Zaxby's is also a good competitor to the McD's and CFA sammich's.

Edited by RAHiggins1 (log)
Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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